There and Back Again

Well, I did it.

I left my home and family and friends and got on a plane that took me back to Malaysia. The biggest challenge in returning is leaving people who love and care about me. I’m not saying I don’t have friends here; I do, and they’re amazing people who I trust, love, and have enriched my life in countless ways. But, to use a cliché as I did in my last post, there’s no place like home.

Readjusting to the routine that I have in Malaysia is probably going to take about a week. When I got back from Spain in January, I called my dad crying at 2am when I couldn’t sleep because of jet lag, depression at having returned at all, and a deep sense of loss. My dad told me that I was not, under any circumstances, allowed to make any important decisions for a week. He told me that it’s completely normal to feel sad and out of sorts after a vacation and that exhaustion didn’t help. He told me to get myself through the week by focusing on school, working out, and spending as much time with others as possible. (I don’t do well alone; I ruminate on everything and talk myself in circles.)

My dad was right. By the time the weekend rolled around, I was back into the groove of daily life, over my jet lag, and feeling much better. So I decided to keep at it in Malaysia rather than book a flight home, which is what I wanted to do when I called at 2am.

This time, I managed to make it until 6:00 this morning before getting in touch with my parents. I’d already been awake for over an hour when I finally gave up and gave in to what I knew would make me feel better. Hearing the voices of loved ones generally has an uplifting effect on me. This morning, however, I was simultaneously comforted that it’s so easy to keep in touch with home, and also sad because I had a fresh reminder of everything I was missing. As I knew it would, though, the brief talk cheered me up and gave me the strength to start my day. Even though I felt alone, I wasn’t. Home is simply a phone call away, and I needed to make that phone call to remember that.

The next few months are going to be my last in Malaysia. I don’t know what’s coming next, but I will make the most of my remaining time here. I made the decision to move here and to return (twice!) and it would be a shame to waste the opportunity I asked for.

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